Like a Dragon Ishin takes Yakuza’s humour and drama to the samurai era

A new trailer for historic Yakuza spin-off Like a Dragon Ishin sets up its story of a man seeking revenge for his mentor after being framed for murder.

Like a Dragon Ishin story trailer: Okita Soji and Sakamoto Ryoma watch a building burn during the night, their torsos lit by the orange glow of the fire

The Like a Dragon Ishin release date is coming up next month, and Sega has released a new trailer for the remake of its 2014 action adventure game that sets up its story. It’s a murder-mystery and a revenge tale rolled up with Ryu ga Gatoku Studio’s signature sense of over-the-top seriousness and goofball humour.

Unlike RGG’s modern-day, mainline Yakuza games, Like a Dragon: Ishin! is set in 1860s Japan at the close of the Edo period. Our hero is Sakamoto Ryoma, a disgraced ronin who has been accepted by the samurai Yoshida Toyo as an adoptive son. When Toyo is murdered during a meeting by a masked assailant, Ryoma is blamed and is forced to flee Kyo to avoid capture by the Shinsengumi, the shogunate’s police force.

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Taking on an assumed name, Ryoma returns to Kyo and joins the Shinengumi as a means to finding his adoptive father’s killer. From there, it’s off to the races: we’ll be hunting down leads in alleyways, fighting plenty of goons, and absorbing a fascinating setting that highlights the tumultuous period during which the feudal establishment was coming to grips with the implications of the recent arrival of Western trade merchants.

Like a Dragon: Ishin! was originally released in 2014, exclusively on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Japan. While it isn’t narratively connected to the Yakuza series, it does feature some familiar faces – a security forces captain named Okita Soji (seen firing a cannon in the trailer) looks just like the ‘mad dog of Shimano’ Goro Majima, for example.

Like a Dragon: Ishin comes out February 21, but have a look at our list of the best samurai games on PC if you’d like to get immersed in the era ahead of time.